29th OMC Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award To Be Held From September 5–9

Bhubaneswar: In its 30th year of establishment, iconic Odissi dance institution Srjan—Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi Nrityabasa (instituted on September 3, 1993) continues to host its flagship annual classical dance and music festival in memory of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, with the aim of creating and sustaining awareness of our classical traditions in dance and music.
The 29th OMC Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra (GKCM) Award Festival 2023, a premier event in the cultural calendar of Odisha launched in 1995, is organised by Srjan annually and will be held in collaboration with the institutional support of Sri Sri University, Cuttack from September 5–9 at Rabindra Mandap at 7 pm each day.

The coveted Award Presentation ceremony is hosted on the fifth day after four evenings of scintillating dance and music performances designed with an eye on the most suitable combination of artistes and genre, and concludes with a grand finale by the Srjan ensemble.

This year, the Awards are being presented to two iconic figures in India’s rich and diverse cultural milieu. The Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award 2023, carrying a respectable allocation of Rs. 1,00,000/- and a citation, will be presented to Dr. Sonal Mansingh, Hon’ble Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) for her immense contributions to Odissi dance and to Shri Anant Mahapatra, for his outstanding lifetime achievements in the realm of Theatre.

Additionally, the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Pratibha Samman 2023, with a cash prize of Rs. 25,000/- and a citation will be presented to four exceptionally talented performing artistes under the age of 40 years in the field of classical dance and Odissi music to acknowledge their outstanding performances. Arupa Gayatri Panda and Siddhi Waikar will receive the same for Odissi dance, while Vishal Krishna will be honoured with the Yuva Samman for Kathak and Arup Das for Odissi music (Mardala).

This edition of the Award Festival will witness solo dance performances accompanied by a live orchestra in the first half of each evening, followed by music recitals in the second half. The inaugural evening will open with an Odissi dance recital by Shashwati Garai Ghosh, followed by the Carnatic violin duo of Lalgudi GJR Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi. Subsequent evenings present Kathak by Shila Mehta, Bharatanatyam by P. Praveen Kumar, and Kuchipudi by Amrita Lahiri. Each of these dance performances will be followed by musical recitals that feature a Hindustani vocal rendering by Jayateerth Mevundi, a Sitar musical by Niladri Kumar, and a Tabla recital by Akram Khan, respectively.

On the concluding evening is the prestigious award ceremony, followed by the much-awaited finale by the Srjan ensemble led by Ratikant Mohapatra. They will present Āvāhanam—Invoking excellence in Art and beyond, a refreshing amalgam of the traditional and the experimental in a bouquet of neo classical choreographs in Odissi dance. Ideated as beautiful and evocative blend of distinctive elements of the Odissi margam subsumed into modernity, Srjan’s presentations will feature unique embellishments in both the music and the choreography with an element of novelty that promises to provide a delightful visual and aesthetic experience to the audience.

For the second year running, Srjan is receiving the able institutional support of Sri Sri University, Cuttack, leading educational institution of India. This symbiosis between academia and performing arts in the new millennium provides the Odishan audiences with an exposure to classical fare of the highest level, while sensitising younger audiences and students to the subtle flavours of classicism and fostering inter-disciplinary synergy of performance Art and research.

The entire festival is curated, conceptualized, and designed by Ratikant Mohapatra, with the programme execution by Debiprasad Mishra. The title and diamond sponsor of the festival is Odisha Mining Corporation Limited (OMC). The 29th OMC GKCM Award Festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and the Department of Odia Literature Language and Culture, Government of Odisha. While MGM Minerals and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) are the gold sponsors, IMFA, Priyadarshini Handloom, and Paradeep Phosphates Limited are the festival sponsors. The hospitality sponsors are Mayfair Hotels and Resorts, Swosti Group of Hotels and Resorts, and The Royale Midtown Hotel. Dharitri and Orissa Post, and Narthaki.com are the media partners and web partner respectively.

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